Sarah Ann McLachlan (born 28 January 1968) is a Canadian singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. She specializes in emotional music that is a mixture of baroque pop, folk-rock, and adult contemporary. She is also known for her soothing mezzo-soprano voice. In addition to her personal artistic efforts, she founded the Lilith Fair tour, which showcased female musicians in the late 1990s and in 2010. It was originally created in backlash of radio stations not wanting to plays songs by female artists back-to-back.
Cover Version: She's covered "Dear God" by XTC, "Song for a Winter Night" by Gordon Lightfoot, Blue and "River" by Joni Mitchell, "Gloomy Sunday" by Rezső Seress, "Blackbird" by The Beatles (for the soundtrack of I Am Sam), "Homeless" by Paul Simon, "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers, and "The Rainbow Connection". Pretty much all of Wintersong consists of covers. She also covered the chorus of Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle" for DMC's song "Just Like Me".
Isn't It Ironic?: "Angel" is about heroin abuse, specifically the fatal overdose of The Smashing Pumpkins' keyboardist, but is used in a PSA narrated by McLachlan herself for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"Building a Mystery", when really you listen to the lyrics, notably contrasts with the warm, laid-back feel of the song. At least one live performance she's done of it turns it into a harder, grunge-style song, putting particular emphasis on the "screaming loud" and "fucked up" lines.
Most of her songs are this trope. "Vox", "Fallen", etc.
Ms. Fanservice: She appeared in two of the Solace-era videos naked, although it was obviously meant for artistic purposes rather than to look sexy.
Non-Appearing Title: Excluding covers, "Awakenings," "Ben's Song," "Dirty Little Secret," "Elsewhere," "Fumbling Towards Ecstacy," "Last Dance," "Out of the Shadows," "Possession," "Touch," "Trust," "Sad Clown," "Uphill Battle," "Vox," and "Wintersong" all fall under this trope. Most of these songs come from her first album, although some of these, most notably "Awakenings," are much more recent. To an extent, "Circle," "Illusions of Bliss," and "The Path of Thorns" could also fall under this trope.
Obsession Song/Stalker with a Crush: "Possession." An obsessed fan sued Mc Lachlan, claiming that she had used the love letters he wrote to her in the song's lyrics. He committed suicide before the suit ever went to trial.
Protest Song: "World On Fire". The video borders on Anvilicious as it list every expense that went into the video and what was bought with the money instead.
Real Life Writes the Plot: Not only is "Possession" about a stalker, the lyrics were inspired by actual stalking letters that McLachlan received from her very own stalker. Who then tried to sue her for plagiarism.
Is the title taken from a song by Loreena McKinnett or Sarah MacLachlan? Is the story preceded by a quote from a song by Loreena McKinnett or Sarah MacLachlan? Is a song by Loreena McKinnett or Sarah MacLachlan played during the story? Is a song by Loreena McKinnett or Sarah MacLachlan sung during the story?
Urban Fantasy: 'Building a Mystery' was this: Interspersed with scenes of Sarah singing the song, a man wanders the world, collecting light from various sources, and sews the lights into a piece of clothing. When the man heads out again, Sarah stops singing, walks into the room, and tries it on, revealing a dress which looks like the night sky. Admittedly, it doesn't make much more sense in context.